Flash! Flash!Stop the presses!
Cyber attacks on computer systems in Silicon Valley are traced back to China.
On the heels of this “discovery” Google threatens to leave China. (Oh, and Google is upset with the way the Chinese government interferes with the Internet.)
- Google, Citing Attack, Threatens to Exit China (NYT)
- A new approach to China (Google blog)
- Google ‘may pull out of China after Gmail cyber attack’ (BBC)
At least, finally Google stood up to the Chinese government.
Google blocked sites and rearranged its search engine to placate the leaders in Beijing. For example, a picture search for “Tiananmen Square” on Google in China gets a series of shots of beautiful flowers and visitors to the square. The same search from almost anywhere else in the world gets the famous shot of a lone demonstrator blocking the path of tanks on the way to the square to attack the student demonstrators in 1989.
But now Google has discovered Chinese hacks on U.S. computers and they are, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, “Shocked. Shocked.”
Why are people so surprised that Chinese hackers are attacking computer systems? Anyone who pays attention to computer security, freedom of expression or China have warned of this for some time. Despite the aggressiveness of the attacks, the actions of Chinese hackers have only received sporadic coverage.
Maybe now that GOOGLE is involved, it has become a big issue. Will we NOW pay some attention to this situation?
Last year cyber security expert Bruce Schneier wrote:
There certainly is a lot of hacking coming out of China. Any company that does security monitoring sees it all the time.
Let’s look at a few stories and blog reports from history:
- US under Chinese hack attack (April 30, 2001)
- Beijing preparing new cyber-attacks (May 31, 2002)
- Security experts lift lid on Chinese hack attacks (Nov. 23, 2005)
- Chinese Hack Attack on Security (Oct. 5, 2006)
- China’s cyber army is preparing to march on America, says Pentagon (Sept. 8, 2007)
- Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Federal Labs (Dec. 7, 2007)
- India and Belgium decry Chinese cyber attacks (May 8, 2008)
- China’s Cyber-Militia: Chinese hackers pose a clear and present danger to U.S. government and private-sector computer networks and may be responsible for two major U.S. power blackouts. (May 31, 2008)
- Spy chiefs fear Chinese cyber attack (March 29, 2009)
- Chinese cyberattacks target media ahead of anniversary (Sept. 22, 2009)
Besides the hacking there is always the censorship problem as well. My favorite link to all this was a report from European Center for International Political Economy argues that the EU can use China’s restrictions on the Internet violate the free trade principles they agreed to when they joined the WTO.